ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Two inmates at Dougherty County Jail were awarded their GEDs Tuesday afternoon in a ceremony.
Travious Jackson and Jafarius Patterson were respectively the 27th and 28th inmates to earn their diplomas through Albany Tech College while serving time.
There's irony in having folks cheer you on in the very place that put you behind bars, but on Tuesday the courtroom was reserved for graduation.
Jackson and Patterson beat the odds, and officially earned their GEDs.
"I feel awesome, I feel like I did good, you know," said Jackson.
"It was hard but as long as you keep pushing you'll get it," remarked Patterson.
But there were days Patterson wanted to throw in the towel
"I went down to his area and got him at the bed, I said c'mon let's go," said Dougherty County Corporal Vivian Hunt.
Hunt stopped at nothing to make sure Patterson earned his diploma.
"It's a just a first stepping stone for them to go further like Jackson said it's a stepping stone to make them go further with their education," explained Hunt.
Hunt oversees the seven-year old program that's offered by Albany Technical College.
"We tell each man each woman who starts our program it doesn't matter where they come from, but from this day forward let's help get to something new in life," said Dougherty County Sheriff Sproul.
Sproul believed he can turn lives around, one inmate at a time.
"Program like this helps motivate you," said Jackson.
"Coming here getting a GED and it motivates you to go in the positive way instead of negative," remarked Patterson.
When it's easy to throw people away behind jail bars, it's program like this that give inmates a second chance.
One of the reasons Sproul said his jail population was so large was due to the lack of education.
He said Albany Tech's GED program changes that.